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No. 25: Jan-Feb 1983

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Imagine hiking near Los Lunas, New Mexico, and coming upon a huge basalt boulder inscribed as shown in the illustration.

Ten Commandments in Old Hebrew Script

This is obviously not an Indian petroglyph. Rather, it is the Ten Commandments set down in an old Hebrew script. The script and its translation seem unmysterious. What everyone wants to know is: Who chiseled it and when? It was apparently discovered in the 1880s. Harvard anthropologist Frank C. Hibben visited the site in 1930 and pronounced the inscription to be at least 100 years old. Who in New Mexico in 1830 knew ancient Hebrew? The inscription may be much older, for the whole boulder, weighing 60-80 tons, is tipped 20-30, probably by geological forces, so that the lines of script are tilted.

(Underwood, L. Lyle; "The Los Lunas Inscription," Epigraphic Society, Occasional Publications, vol. 10, no. 237, 1982.)

Comment. Is it all a hoax? Some think so. It is easier to live with a hoax than with the thought of a Hebrew outpost in New Mexico a couple thousand years ago. It should be remarked that there are many purported Hebrew and Roman finds in the American Southwest; viz, the Tucson lead crosses with their Roman inscriptions.

Reference. More anomalous epigraphy is to be found in our Handbook: Ancient Man. For more on this book, visit: here.

From Science Frontiers #25, JAN-FEB 1983. 1983-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987